In southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung city, a thirteen-story building fire killed 46 and injured 41 on Thursday, one of the world’s deadliest apartment buildings in twenty years .
“I heard many loud bangs – bang, bang, bang – downstairs and went downstairs to investigate”, one resident explained to a local television. City firefighters dispatched more than 70 trucks to try and contain the fire in the 40-year-old building mostly occupied by low-income residents. Four hours were needed to overcome the fire; most of the victims were between the seventh and eleventh floors. Regularly threatened by typhoons and shaken by earthquakes, Taiwan has enacted drastic construction standards, but there are frequent gaps between these safety codes and their application, especially in old buildings. The last deadly fire dates back to 1995: 64 people died in a karaoke club.